Return Trip
by Michael Brett

Imagine -then- the fighting on this steep crag whose fingernail top
Tries to scratch Buddha's belly, the North Star: the noise,
The smell of the unburied dead -from miles away.

Its high cliffs still swim between Neptune and the Moon
Then, its battle-sharpened edge was the gnomon of a world eclipse
And everything we did seemed like living in a film.

Our footprints are still written down in books and in these skies.
Each climb was a countdown, death or coronation.
Our medals are stars for which our helicopters and rope ladders
Stormed the Great Bear and the Plough.

We pressed a new Hadrian's Wall
Between prosperity and disaster. Here,
We fell into a treasury and took nothing but our name.

Blinded by smoke, we stood
With our dirty boots on diamonds, on this spot.

Look now.
Look now.

This is where we fought.


~
Copyright © 2010 - Michael Brett
Published: 9/9/10   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem